Learning the Types of Plans & Coverage Is Step One.
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There are many options when it comes to selecting a Medicare plan. In fact, there are different parts to most people’s comprehensive Medicare plan, and in some cases, additional non-Medicare plans as well. The specific details for available plans can be very difficult to find and to understand. But, with the help of a specialist, you can find the best options and compare those plans to determine how they can work together to give you the maximum benefit you need. Let’s take a look at the types of plans available and go from there.
Medicare Advantage Plans are private health insurance plans that have been approved by Medicare. When enrolled in one of these plans, Medicare Parts A, B and usually Medicare Part D are administered to you by the plan. These types of plans are oftentimes referred to as Medicare Part C and they usually have a contracted network of providers that accept the plan. These plans are county specific, and the benefits can change from one year to the next which is why it’s important to always compare your Medicare, every year.
Medicare Supplement Plans are also referred to as Medigap plans. These plans are offered by private insurance companies to help Medicare beneficiaries cover the gaps in Medicare Part A and Part B. There are different Medicare Supplement Plan options that are available, and each provide a different amount of Medicare gap coverage. When you purchase a Medicare Supplement policy, the network of providers and facilities that you can choose from is nationwide and dependent on whether the provider accepts Medicare, and no referrals are needed to see a specialist. Monthly premium rates increase as policyholders age so it’s important to compare policies with the other plan options area to avoid overpaying for coverage unnecessarily.
Medicare Part D is a federal program that began in 2006. It provides Medicare beneficiaries with the ability to purchase a prescription drug insurance plan from a private insurance company. It’s important to consider all the costs when evaluating Part D Prescription Drug Plan choices and not just monthly premium. There are drug co-pays and cost sharing, sometimes deductibles, and the coverage gap, aka “the donut hole.” These plans can change annually, both in monthly premium and in their formulary listing of medications and the drug tier levels where medications are placed. It’s because of these variables that it is important to compare your current prescription drug plan to other plans in the marketplace annually. Make sure to avoid the Part D penalty by not delaying enrollment,
Medicare by itself does not cover most dental care, dental procedures, or supplies, nor does it provide coverage for cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, dental plates, or other dental devices. There are a few exceptions, but by and large, Medicare will not cover any dental. Routine eye and hearing exams are also not covered by the Original Medicare program. Glasses, frames, lenses, contact lenses, and hearing aids are also usually not covered.
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We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.